Monday, November 23, 2009

Give Thanks Greener

Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2009 at 8:31 pm on AltDaily.com
by Amelia Baker

Turkey Day is quickly approaching.

It happens to be one of my favorite days of the year. What’s not to like? Food, naps, more food, lazy lounging on the couch, and more food. But Thanksgiving at the Baker household, as one would imagine, is slightly out of the norm.

Besides the fact that I love having a day off dedicated to food which gives me the time and motivation to bake bread and make gravy from scratch, I enjoy everything that the day stands for. Thanks and giving with family and friends.

I was planning out Thursday’s event calendar to make sure we stayed true to our green roots when I thought that others aspiring to be a little greener this year may want some helpful tips and hints. Here are a few of the earthy activities we’ll be sure to incorporate into family fun.

The Main Event – Thanksgiving Dinner:

There’s a reason why sweet potatoes, cranberries, greens, and the usual fixins’ are side dish staples. They’re in season, so why not get them from your local growers. Just the other night, I scooped up red potatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes, onions, fresh herbs, and more at the local Farmer’s Market (and they were organic too). Eating local helps to build a sustainable community, cuts down on carbon output, and dishes up fresh, delicious veggies that come straight from the farm to your plate.

Of course, there’s no mentioning Thanksgiving dinner without talking turkey. For the veg readers, I’m sure you are keen on faux turkey, tofurkey. But for the meat eaters out there, make sure that bird is free range and organic. Free range foul grazes the open fields and allows your main dish to naturally feast on salad and insects.

If you’re feeling inspired, keep up the green work…
  • Serve up your masterpiece dinner on reusable dishes and flatware.
  • Take advantage of cloth napkins. You’ll be shocked at how few paper towels you go through; green and money-saver.
  • Be a locavore. Cut down on your travel and spend Thanksgiving at home with friends and family to keep your carbon footprint in check.
  • If you’ve made such a kick-ass meal that everyone’s part of the clean plate club, kudos to you. Most guests have eyes bigger than their bellies so you might have some scraps left over. Compost what you can and give the doggie some love too.
  • Cleaning house is begrudgingly a mandatory exercise for the host family so make sure you’re scrubbing with non-toxic and biodegradable cleaners.
  • For those loving the harvest d├ęcor, tap into the great outdoors for your centerpieces and beyond instead of buying new. Or check out the thrift stores.
  • Recycle. I’m certain that when family comes together, many gladly indulge in tasty libations. Instead of trashing empty bottles and cans, recycle them.
  • Since we’re talking drinks, scoop up some local beer and wine from your neighborhood market. Virginia and Carolina can brew a tasty pumpkin ale that will perfectly complement your feast.


And you thought you just needed to prep the menu. It’s easy, seriously. The Baker household is hosting Thanksgiving this year and we wouldn’t have it any other way. When we host, we get to push our tree-huggin’ values on the rest of our family for just one day. I know there are some creative folks out there. Share the love and post your planet-saving Thanksgiving tips too.

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